|Publication number||US7144320 B2|
|Application number||US 11/025,461|
|Publication date||Dec 5, 2006|
|Filing date||Dec 29, 2004|
|Priority date||Dec 29, 2004|
|Also published as||CA2531936A1, US20060141921|
|Publication number||025461, 11025461, US 7144320 B2, US 7144320B2, US-B2-7144320, US7144320 B2, US7144320B2|
|Inventors||James R. Turek, Jeff A. Sode, Christopher J. Williams|
|Original Assignee||Turek James R, Sode Jeff A, Williams Christopher J|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (52), Classifications (7), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention pertains to an air distribution arrangement for rack-mounted computer and data storage equipment. More particularly, this invention pertains to an air distribution arrangement for rack-mounted equipment that generates heat in a cabinet within which the computer and data storage equipment is stored, which will supply cooling air only to the fronts of the computer and data storage equipment at predetermined volume and pressure for effectively cooling the rack-mounted equipment at relatively low cost.
Cabinets for supporting rack-mounted equipment are well-known. Generally, the cabinets comprise an enclosure containing a rack that has a plurality of spaced rails at each side upon which the equipment can be supported in a vertical stack. The front of the cabinet is generally closed by at least one door.
Heat build-up within the cabinet from the computer and data storage equipment is a long standing problem, for the heat can cause failure of the computer and data storage equipment housed within the cabinet. Additionally, there can result a thermal rise or thermal gradient on the order of 15° F. to 18° F. between the bottom and the top of the cabinet. Computers and data storage equipment in the upper portion of the cabinets are more susceptible to damage, since heat rises, however, when a large amount of heat is present within the cabinet, computer and data storage in the lower portion of the cabinet can fail as well.
Arrangements for addressing the problem have included providing a fan in the cabinet for drawing air from beneath the floor, passing it over the computer and data storage equipment and discharging the air into the room. See U.S. Pat. No. 3,903,404 to Beall et al. Cabinets have been provided with fans to draw in room air and pass same in a generally upright path of travel to cool upright computer components. The air can be discharged to the ambient through a vent in the top wall of the cabinet. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,801,428 to Smith et al.
There exists a need for a low cost air distribution arrangement for rack-mounted equipment in a cabinet that provides cool ambient air to a surface of the computer and data storage equipment for effectively cooling same.
An object of the present invention is to provide an improved air distribution arrangement for a cabinet that contains rack-mounted equipment that generates heat in use.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an air distribution arrangement for a cabinet that contains rack-mounted equipment that generates heat with a plenum structure that can be used in a wide variety of industry cabinets.
A further object of this invention is to provide an air distribution arrangement for cooling rack-mounted equipment in the cabinet that includes an air box that draws in ambient air from adjacent the floor and discharges it into the plenum between the door and the rack-mounted equipment at a rate of at least 850 cfm for supplying air to the faces of the rack-mounted equipment for cooling the interiors thereof.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a cabinet for rack-mounted equipment with an air distribution arrangement that includes plenum structure that is adjustable to accommodate a variety of industry cabinets.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a cabinet for rack-mounted equipment that generates heat with an air distribution arrangement that includes an air box for receiving ambient air as well as cooled air from a cooling source, such as an air conditioning unit or a cold air duct in a building.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be made more apparent hereinafter.
By reason of the present invention that utilizes an air distribution arrangement including a defined plenum between the cabinet door and the rack-mounted equipment, ambient air can be supplied to the rack-mounted equipment that generates heat in the cabinet for normalizing the intake temperature, thus supplying uniform temperature air throughout the range of the plenum, that is, from bottom to top.
The air distribution of the present invention is adapted to be arranged in a cabinet for housing rack-mounted equipment, such as computers or servers, that generate heat in use. The air distribution can be part of a cabinet when constructed or it can be an add-on feature to an existing cabinet. The air distribution arrangement includes plenum structure comprising side walls and a top wall and an air box which cooperates with the front door of the cabinet and the faces of the rack-mounted equipment to define a plenum. A gasket seal is provided between the front door and the plenum structure to minimize the loss of pressurized air from the plenum. The air box contains one or more fans to draw ambient air from adjacent the floor into the air box and move it to the plenum at a rate of at least 850 cfm. The faces of the rack-mounted equipment have opening for receiving air from the plenum to cool the interiors thereof. After cooling the rack-mounted equipment the air can be exhausted back to the ambient.
The side walls and the top wall of the plenum structure are preferably comprised of complementary sections that are adjustable with respect to one another to vary the depth of the plenum. Suitable fasteners, such as a caged nut and bolt, are provided to secure the complementary sections in adjusted position.
Excess pressure in the plenum can be relieved by pressure relief means in at least one wall defining the plenum. The pressure relief means may comprise at least one opening in a side wall defining the plenum.
There is shown in the attached drawing a presently preferred embodiment of the present invention wherein like numerals in the various views refer to like element and wherein:
There is shown in the drawing a cabinet for containing rack-mounting equipment that generates heat and the air distribution arrangement of the present invention which supplies cooling air to the rack-mounted equipment in an inexpensive and effective manner. The cabinet 10 may comprise framework 12 for supporting side walls 14, a rear door 16, and a top wall 18 with vent opening 20. A door 24 is constructed and arranged to be secured to the framework 12 for closing the front of the cabinet. The door 24 includes a mesh grille 26 to permit air to enter the cabinet 10 from the lower front thereof. The upper portion 27 of the door 24 is preferably a solid anti-static acrylic.
Disposed within the cabinet 10 is a rack 30 comprising spaced apart vertical supports 32, 34 supporting rails 36 upon which the rack-mounted equipment 37 may be supported. As seen in
The air distribution arrangement 40 of the present invention as best seen in
As seen in
The complementary sections 50 a and 50 b each include slots 54 and 56 respectively (
As shown in
In operation, the fan means 44,46 are energized to draw ambient air into air box 42 through the grille 26 in the front door 24 of the cabinet 10. Panel 45 is provided in the cabinet 10 to adjust the opening of the air box 42 to the depth of the plenum formed between the faces of the rack-mounted devices 37, the door 24 and the plenum structure 50, 51, 52. The coolest ambient air, normally that adjacent the floor, is drawn into the air box and then forced into the plenum at a rate of at least 850 cfm. The cooling air will flow upwardly in the plenum and be drawn into respective computer devices 37 for cooling same from the inlet opening or openings 38 in the front faces thereof that communicates with the plenum. Excess pressure within the plenum can be relieved by pressure relief means 41,43, which may comprise slotted openings in the sides 50, 51 of the plenum structure. The air discharged from the computer devices 37 will pass into the space between the rack-mounted equipment and the interior of the cabinet and be discharged from the vent openings 20 in the top 18 of the cabinet 10 or through the rear door 16.
There has been provided by the air distribution arrangement of this invention a relatively inexpensive means for cooling rack-mounted equipment in a cabinet. A common size of cabinet used in the industry is thirty (30) inches deep by twenty four (24) inches wide by eighty four (84) inches high. The air distribution arrangement of the present invention is constructed and arranged to dissipate the heat load that might be generated within the cabinet during operation of the rack-mounted equipment. Within the industry a person of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that by adopting a 30 degree temperature differential from front to rear through the rack-mounted equipment and using fan means capable of producing 850 cfm of air in the plenum, a heat load of 8 KW can be accommodated. By maintaining a volume of at least 850 cfm, sufficient ambient air can be provided to cool such cabinet.
Similarly, if an industry standard larger cabinet were used, for example, forty eight (48) inches deep by thirty (30) inches wide by eighty four (84) inches high, a larger fan means would be needed to pressurize the plenum and provide sufficient cooling air. Air volume on the order of 2000 cfm would accommodate a heat load on the order of 19 KW in the cabinet.
As would be known to a person skilled in the art, the heat load to be removed from a cabinet can be calculated by the following formula: (cfin×TD)×0.2931=HL in watts. CFM is the cubic feet per minute of air from the fan means. TD is the temperature differential across the rack-mounted equipment, for example, computers or servers, from front to rear. The term “0.2931” is a constant.
In a modification, cooled air may be supplied to the cabinet through a duct 39 (
In summary, the present invention provides a cabinet for rack-mounted equipment that generates heat with a low cost air distribution arrangement for effectively cooling the rack-mounted equipment. The air distribution arrangement includes plenum structure that fits into any conventional industry cabinet and that is adjustable to vary the plenum depth. The air distribution arrangement includes an air box containing at least one fan for drawing ambient air from the room adjacent the floor and passing it to the plenum at a rate of at least 850 cfm. A resilient gasket is disposed between the front door of the cabinet and the plenum structure to minimize air loss from the plenum, thus providing a pressurized plenum. Excess pressure in the plenum can be relieved by pressure relief means in the plenum structure, for example, an opening or openings in the side walls of the plenum structure that communicates with the space between the rack-mounted equipment and the cabinet.
While we have disclosed a presently preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be understood by persons skilled in the art that the invention may be otherwise embodied within the scope of the attached claims.
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|U.S. Classification||454/184, 361/695|
|Cooperative Classification||H05K7/20572, H05K7/20736|
|European Classification||H05K7/20R10C, H05K7/20S10C|
|Apr 8, 2008||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Jul 12, 2010||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Dec 5, 2010||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Jan 25, 2011||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20101205